RiktheRed21

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  1. RiktheRed21

    A Wolf, A Horse, and A Rider

    Near on a week passed before Brinnea left Dun Modr. Though loathe to admit it, even to herself, she had become attached to the girls in Matron Sio’s boudoir. Ever since she saved Jessaya from the drunkard Vic, the other girls had pestered her with questions and requested help with anything from braiding hair to making beds. Brinnea didn’t mind lending a hand, and they quickly caught on. Their company was worth the pestering, so far as Brinnea was concerned, but the more comfortable she became, the more anxious she was to depart. When she did, it was early in the morning, before the sun could rise. It was at that hour the boudoir was most quiet, when all the drunkards had fallen asleep and the late-night lechers had fled to bed before their wives could wake and find them gone. Brinnea had stolen out while Sio slept, and left all the money the gruff matron had secreted into her purse. I never asked to be paid, Brinnea had thought, I shouldn’t have even stayed as long as I have. Now the sun was rising to her right, over mossy green hills. The crossing of the Thandol Span lie behind her now, and before her rose wave after wave of green hills. This was the land of the most ancient human civilization, the Strom. Arathi Highlands was true to its name; the death knight found herself riding up and up and up as she ascended from the dull basin the Wetlands sat in on the other side of the wide Thandol gap. Beneath the grass and dirt Brinnea knew there were relics to be found, some as old as she was and some far older. This was a land where civilizations rose and fell – one massive graveyard buried beneath pleasant green hills. The wolf made its appearance known again a few miles north of the Span. It baffled Brinnea that the beast would have waited so long for her to leave Dun Modr, let alone follow her across the great stone bridge over a massive, wet, and windy gorge. A lone wolf seeks a pack where it can find it, I suppose. A few miles more, and Brinnea found the road blocked by two boulders as large as she was. Given that the road was tightly flanked on both sides by hills, making going around on ordeal on horseback, she immediately suspected a trap. She dismounted and clambered up a hill, her sword drawn and ready for an ambush, but when she reached the top, she could see no sign of anyone or anything. A pair of birds weaved about one another in an angry dance up above, and the wolf was nowhere to be seen, both otherwise there was nothing of note. “Nothing to do but move the boulders aside,” she mumbled to herself. A wind whipped at her cloak, as if trying to reply. If it was speaking to her, she did not know the tongue. A sudden yelp back down the road caught her attention as she slid down the hill. The wolf eyed her and barked. It lifted its head, and the bark flew into a wild howl. Brinnea’s eyebrows knit in annoyance. “Did it occur to you I didn’t want to attract attention, mutt?” The wolf kept up its howl, and padded up and down the road. It kept looking at her with its unnervingly focused eyes. She called out to it loudly, “Go bother someone else! I’m a poor replacement for the pack you lost!” The wolf sprinted down the road, away from her. Guess that finally drove it away, but for how long? Brinnea set to work moving one of the boulders. There was little chance of removing them entirely from the road with such steep hills to either side, but at least she could move one so there would be a narrow s-shaped gap to ride around. Any travelers with carts would be out of luck, but that wasn’t Brinnea’s problem. She found a thin, sturdy tree a way off the road and hacked at it until the little trunk gave way. She shaved off the branches and returned to the road. The trunk was sturdy enough to serve as a lever, but getting the proper leverage took much longer than anticipated. Eventually, she managed to get the boulder to budge, but the process of moving it out of the way was gradual and often resulted in the damn thing rolling back the way she had moved it from. Frustration was among the emotions left to Brinnea, though she could have done without it right about now. While considering better methods of moving the boulder, she happened to glance back down the road, expecting to see the wolf coming back. When she saw no sign of it, she felt oddly disappointed. “Get ahold of yourself, Velmon,” she muttered, and set back to work. The screaming started a few minutes later. The wolf’s howl accompanied it, making it hard to know for sure, but it sounded just like a girl’s scream. Brinnea listened closely, uncertain. It could have just been a bird with a peculiar cry; it wasn’t as if she knew the fauna of this region well. The screams stopped of a sudden. Brinnea told herself to pay it no heed, but before she knew it, she was clambering into her saddle and leaving her boulder and level behind in a cloud of trail dust. Not a mile south of the road obstruction, she came across a dead horse swarmed by flies. The smell of it was fresh, and there were clear marks indicating the rider was dragged off the road by something with deep footprints. “Ogres,” Brinnea said. Something moved behind her, too soft to be one of the great oafish clansmen responsible for this mess. She whirled about, and lowered her blade when she saw the wolf padding up to her, its fur a reddish brown she hadn’t noticed before. “You’re growing bolder to get so close to me, mutt,” she said. The beast panted and watched her expectantly. She imagined it speaking to her; Are you going to do something about this mess? “What’s there to do?” she replied, “Anyone taken by an ogre is bound to wind up in an ogre’s supper.” They could still be alive. “It’s none of my business. I have more important things to worry about.” She turned towards her horse. Some urgent meeting you have to get to? And here I suspected you were wandering aimlessly. “I know where I’m going.” But you don’t know what you’ll do when you get there, do you? Brinnea spun to shout back, but the wolf was gone. She looked around and caught sight of its tail retreating up the hill, in the direction of the ogre trail. “You have to be joking!” Brinnea exclaimed, but when she remounted, she followed right along, looking back at the northward road woefully. The trail was clear enough, but Brinnea lacked the skill to interpret how many or how fast her query was moving. Based on how long it had been since the screaming, she figured the ogre or ogres couldn’t be more than a couple miles ahead of her. She urged her charger into a gallop. Even at a dead run, an ogre couldn’t outpace a horse. The wolf bounded to try and keep up, and Brinnea was surprised at how long it managed to do so. Before too long, it fell behind, panting and yapping. The ogres are like to hear us coming with all this noise. Oh well, I prefer a fair fight, anyway. She caught sight of them after ascending a hill. They were within a couple minutes’ ride of her, and had lit a fire under the cover of a heavy stone outcrop. A stream trickled beside them, no deeper than Brin’s ankle, she guessed, but it would be an asset in the fight to come. The death knight couldn’t tell if the captive was alive or not; they appeared only as a white and yellow smudge in the distance. The ogres, on the other hand, stood out greatly. There were three of them, more than enough to overwhelm Brin if she wasn’t careful. She rode around the ogre’s camp, sticking to the shadows. It seemed that they hadn’t spotted her yet, so she intended to keep it that way. She made her final approach with the westering sun at her back and the stream at her side. The ogres stirred from their seated position as she approached, cantering carefully. Ogres were dull creatures, but smart enough to set traps or tame wild beasts. She watched closely for any sign of a trap. “HEY!” one of the ogres roared at her, “THIS OUR CAMP! NO STEALING!” The three ogres faced her, two carrying crude clubs, and the other a net and spear shaved from the trunk of a tree much larger than Brin’s lever. Their captive was wrapped up tightly in another net. A great boar was turning on the spit over the fire. Luckily the beast seemed a better feast than the small woman the ogres had captured, else Brin’s detour would have been for nothing. “I’m here for the girl, the one you idiots pulled from her horse,” Brinnea said calmly. Her sword rested in its sheath for now. Let them think I’m not hostile. They’ll underestimate me and charge blindly. “NO LIKE HORSE!” the head ogre shouted back, “WE EAT GIRL INSTEAD! BRING SKIN BACK FOR TENT!” “I didn’t ask. You’re going to give her to me. Now.” The ogre with the spear and net laughed first, but the other two joined in, as if just getting the joke. “YOU STUPID! YOU NO BEAT US! YOU WANT BE FOOD TOO?” “If you want a taste of me, you’ll have to come get me.” As expected, all three sprinted at her, roaring and bashing their weapons against their chests, bare but for a few furs and leather straps. Brinnea wheeled her horse to run down the line of the stream. Once they were chasing her, big feet clattering along the wet pebbles, she drew her blade and pointed it at the water behind her. In a flash of blue light, the water began to freeze. The ogres were too dead-set on her to even slow down. All three fell over on the patch of ice, making a great THUD! Brinnea spun her charger around and urged it to do what it was made to do. The killing was bloody, brutal, and brief. Her sword flashed thrice in wide silvery-blue arcs, each time turning red midway through. She raced past the ogres, and left them with three slit throats. Brinnea came to a stop at the camp and dismounted. The wolf was there now, gnawing at the nets angrily. Brinnea drew her knife and cut the animals free first, shooing them away easily enough. Then she freed the girl. Somehow, Brinnea wasn’t surprised to recognize her. “Jessaya, were you following me?” She helped the girl sit up and looked over her head. It was cut and bleeding, but her eyes focused when Brin passed a finger in front of them, so she figured her brain was likely safe. “Yes,” the girl admitted quietly. She was always quiet and shy. It was part of why the men liked her so much. That, and her absurd youth. Tonight, she wore one of her white robes covered by a cloak of foxfur she must have stolen from Sio along with the horse. Her clothes were dirty and tattered, but still usable. Brin noted with annoyance than the girl wore only underclothes beneath the robe. “You’re going straight back to Dun Modr in the morning,” Brinnea said. “But…!” Brinnea hushed her with a look. “There are worse things than ogres about. You’re lucky to have been saved this time, but your luck won’t last.” “But if I stay with you…” “You won’t.” I’m more dangerous than anything you’ll face on the road. “Why not? You’re all by yourself out here. Everyone needs company.” The girl was utterly innocent, her eyes telling a story of hurt and sadness, but hope too. It was too much for Brin to look at. The wolf lay nearby, warming its fur by the fire. Brin noticed Jessaya watching the beast carefully. “You’re going back, and that’s final.” “It’ll be dangerous for me to go back by myself now,” Jessaya replied, “And without a horse now. I couldn’t ride very well, but it was faster than walking.” Brin sighed. The girl was right, but the last thing she wanted was to delay her travel further. “You’ll just have to tread carefully and hope for the best.” The girl was devastated, Brin could tell. Better sad than company with a walking disaster. Her odds could be worse. It’s only a couple days back to Thandol Span. Brin picked meat off the spitted boar and offered it to Jessaya. She ate hungrily, thankful for the food. Brin tossed a few meaty ribs at the wolf too, when she saw it eyeing the meat and licking its chops. The charger, Sparklehoof, stood sentry out in the open. It and Brin were the only ones not eating. “I didn’t just come because I wanted to,” Jessaya said after a while. “I’ve been hearing about Vic’s company for a while from the girls. They’re called Bronto’s Bruisers, and they practically own Dun Modr. After you kicked Vic out of Sio’s, the word was they wanted blood for being made fools out of.” “You think I didn’t notice?” Brinnea asked rhetorically. “I’ve been keeping the Bruisers out of the boudoir for a week.” “But you left. They didn’t even wait until morning before they came to Sio demanding free tumbles for the whole company. ‘When one Bruiser gets shortchanged,’ they said, ‘All the Bruisers are robbed.’ Sio couldn’t stop them with you gone.” “So you came to fetch me back?” “No. I just wanted to get away, like you. Sio will find a way to survive. She always does. They probably won’t leave you alone, either. They might have sent people out here hunting for you.” Brin cleaned off her sword with cloth and tempered the edges with a whetstone. “They can certainly try.”
  2. RiktheRed21

    ((OOC)) [WR] July - Character Submission

    I submit Brinnea Velmon for this raffle. Good luck.
  3. The mission statement of the Magic Protection Service is “To observe, inform, and secure the study of magic for the benefit of all.” Magic is tool, and like all tools it must be used responsibly. The MPS exists to secure the use of magic so that all may coexist. The MPS is not an enemy of magic. The founding member of the Service is renowned mage, Fjalla Gladstone, who has seen the magical society grow and adapt much over her seventy years. She has seen magic used and abused aimed at both the protection and destruction of life throughout Azeroth and beyond. Gladstone and her associates strive to encourage protection and discourage destruction, while keeping the magical community thriving. Similarly, the Service takes responsibility for the abuse of non-magical people by magic users. Rogue mages presenting a danger to society are not tolerated by the MPS. The MPS recruits from all walks of life. Be you mage or layperson, you can provide to the Service, and provide to Azeroth. Join, and Serve. ((Feel free to contact me by personal message here, on Discord at RikTheRed21#0639, or in game at Fjalla-Ravenholdt if you are interested in joining.))
  4. RiktheRed21

    A Wolf, A Horse, and A Rider

    ((Warning: sexual themes and language)) The wolf followed her for ten miles before she lost sight of it. By then, she was nearing the northern crossing at Dun Modr. Brinnea swung west from the highlands down to the cobblestone road leading onto the Thandol Span. From there, she would continue north. But for how long? How far would she go? Brinnea had lain awake the night prior, unable to close her eyes for fear of nightmares, thinking about her destination. Or rather, her lack thereof. Once upon a time, she had lived in Lordaeron, at a well-travelled town called Andorhal. But now, Andorhal was deep within Forsaken lands, and any Forsaken would attack her on sight. Yet, she felt unavoidably drawn to Lordaeron, as if called home by something familiar. Five more miles passed, and the wolf padded out into sight again, carrying a half-eaten squirrel. Brinnea realized then that she must have slowed her pace, else the beast would not have caught up again. She groaned at herself for wasting precious time before she realized that time didn’t mean much to a soldier with no war to fight. Night began to fall when Dun Modr appeared on the horizon, just around a tall hill. The dwarven fortress had once guarded the border between dwarven Khaz Modan and the human kingdoms to the north. But since the Second War, Dun Modr had fallen into disrepair, and after the Scourge and Forsaken invasions, the bordering human kingdom Arathor was almost entirely wiped out. That made the crossing a hub for oddities, wayfarers, and vagrants of all sorts. Brinnea meandered into the town square beneath the dwarven fortress. If she was to travel north, she needed to prepare. Glancing back, she saw no sign of the wolf following her here. The throng of people all about explained that. Humans, gnomes, dwarves, worgen, and even elves wandered about the mossy ruins of Dun Modr wearing largely threadbare clothes in hundreds of styles. Even now, nearly twenty years after the Scourge attacked the northern kingdoms, people were still reluctant to let go of their homelands. Yet, the people here all looked filthy and gaunt. Food and clean water was scarce in these hills, it seemed. Brinnea dismounted at a squat wooden structure. A sign nailed to the unsteady beam serving as a roof marked it as a stable in both Common and Dwarven script. Brin searched for the owner of the meager establishment while fishing coins from her purse, and settled for handing a couple silvers to a mud-speckled boy who might have been a very young human or a ten-year-old dwarf. He muttered a half-hearted thanks and took to her steed as she instructed. Brinnea kept a hand on her purse as she walked through the town, not enchanted by the idea of having it cut from her belt by some desperate soul. The crowd was brimming with folks who looked down on their luck, but also with merchants crying wares marked at ten times the price Brinnea would expect at Greenwarden’s Grove or Menethil Harbor. Typical of merchants to exploit the poor in such a way. She set her sights on the stone buildings up the hillside. They looked less ramshackle than the lower square, so she hoped for better wares than down where she was. At the very least, she expected better security. Wandering eyes latched on her for uncomfortable lengths of time. Rough looking men and women sat, squatted, or leaned along the sides of the road, carrying weapons auspiciously. There were no guards about wearing Ironforge badges, nor the mountaineers that the dwarves of Khaz Modan used to patrol the far reaches of their clans’ holds. No, this land was ruled by those with the coin to pay for protection. Brinnea noted that the mercenaries mostly flocked near merchants, taverns, and whorehouses. Any of the three would have enough coin to pay for them with the times as they were. She moved quickly to get away from their vulturelike gazes. In the upper part of the town, Brinnea finally found some of the garrison. Most were milling about as if there was no job to do. A pair of them sat at a Hearthstone board drinking cheap ale and laughing raucously. She felt the need to smack their heads together and yell, “You are defenders of the weak, now act like it!” But then again, who was she to judge? The shops she passed had more potential than the merchant stalls in the lower square, but that didn’t make the prices any fairer. Criers announced goods in stock at exorbitant prices. Brin shook her head, gazing down at her half-empty purse. For these people, this much is a fortune, she thought to herself, And yet I still may beggar myself before I depart north. Ludicrous! Brinnea finally settled on a humble shop built into the hillside. The crier outside welcomed her with a sly smile that made her nervous. She kept a tight hold on her purse until she was finished with her purchases. By the time she exited the shop, her purse was light, but her pack was full. She had enough cloth to make bandages, rope for various uses, bits of leather and metal for repairs, a couple tools to replace old and rusted pieces of hers, paper and ink for letters, (though she had only picked them with great reluctance), and a cleaver for chopping firewood. The store owner had looked at her skeptically and asked, “No food for your travels?” Brinnea had answered, “My horse and I don’t eat much.” Outside the store, the sun had sunk below the hills and night began to set in. Chirps from a million crickets filled the air in chorus, heralding the end of the day. People stepped quickly about their final business. Brinnea followed suit; it would not do to be out and about at night in a place like this. She noticed the thugs following her almost immediately. They weren’t trying to be stealthy about it. Three men, a dwarf and two humans, followed her loosely down the hill path. They had swords on their belts and leather on their bodies. Tattoos marked them as belonging to some mercenary band, unless Brinnea’s eyes deceived her in the dim light. That was trouble. Kill three thugs and you might be safe from further violence, but kill three members of a band of hundreds and you had better skip town before the sun rises. She tried to lose them by ducking into a tavern, but she misread a sign and ended up standing in the front room filled with fox fur decorations, soft-looking fox fur couches, contented and eager looking men fiddling with their coin purses, and mostly naked women. The sight of it all brought back uncomfortable memories for Brinnea, but at least the three men hadn’t followed her inside. The matron of the establishment approached her, carrying a board with a stack of papers and a candle in one hand and a quill in the other. She examined Brinnea skeptically. She was a dwarven women of freckled complexion and coppery hair tied up in businesslike braids. Her green eyes were stern and unwavering. When she spoke, she sounded very much like a man. “Good ‘eve, lass. My name is Sionnach, though you can call me Sio. What can the Foxy Sisters provide ye tonight?” Brinnea cleared her throat awkwardly. “Nothing, miss. I was only…passing through.” Sio’s eyebrow rose at that. She did not seem the type to enjoy having her time wasted. “Just passing through me house? Well, sorry to say, there’s no back door, so ye’ll have to pass back the way ye came.” Brinnea did not welcome the thought of searching for a tavern with the streets the way they were. Before the matron could walk away, she said, “Perhaps I could stay here tonight? I have coin.” Sio wheeled about, twirling her quill between her fat fingers. “My rooms are reserved for my daughters’ company. I’m afraid I have no gentlemen to provide you entertainment. So, unless you are—” Brinnea cut her off there, “I am not interested in that. But perhaps we could come to some arrangement for a place to lay my head tonight.” “What sort of arrangement?” Brinnea tapped the hilt of her longsword. “I could provide protection for your establishment tonight.” Sio pursed her lips thoughtfully. “And ye’d charge nothin’ so long as ye’re allowed to stay the night?” Brinnea nodded. Sio made some marks in her papers and waved for Brinnea to follow her. “Ye’ll stand guard in the corner. Swords make men nervous before a tumble, which isn’t good fer business. Stay here, out of sight.” She directed Brin to a chair, which the death knight sat in happily. Her joints ached from a long day of riding and walking. Sio went on describing the sort of things to look out for to aid security before she waddled off to see to other guests. Brin settled in to watch her surroundings. Her mind wandered back in time all the while. Brinnea, her mother Maria, and her sister Christa had lived in a run-down hut outside the walls of Lordaeron City after they left home to escape her father. While their mother fought a nasty fever, Christa and Brin had to look for ways to bring in coin, lest they all starve. Weeks went by with little work to be found, and their bellies grew emptier with each passing day. Christa had been the one to come up with the idea. “The brothels always pay their girls well,” she had explained to their mother as she lay in bed, “And Matron Kathy said I could start so long as I tell people I’m fourteen. They’ll never notice I’m younger by two years.” Maria had been adamant they never whore themselves out in such a way. “You are my daughter, Christa,” Maria said sternly despite her weak state, “You are not a piece of meat for men to buy and sell.” Brinnea had spoken up then, “But mother, we have nothing else to sell. And besides, we’re all girls.” She looked about now at the scantily-clad women, some no older than twelve as her sister had been. She saw through the masks they wore. They put on brave faces, even managed to look pleased to do their work. Perhaps some of them really were. A few hours of pleasure, a few hours of soreness, and at the end of the day, you had enough food and water and rest to feel comfortable. But none of them looked truly alive underneath those masks. Brinnea sighed softly. Not for the first time in her life, she felt powerless. “What do you mean, ‘you owe me?’ You charge silver for that sort of tumble?” A man, red-faced and drunk, stumbled out of a back room shouting and waving his fists wildly as Sio tried to calm him. He wore the same leathers and tattoos as the men who had followed Brin down the street. She watched him carefully. “What did the girl do wrong, Vic? Jessaya’s never made a mistake large enough fer such anger before!” The red-faced man looked all the wilder for Sio’s words. “Well clearly your standards are lax, Matron! That little slut just up and bit me! Like a fucking mutt, she just bit me!” The girl he pointed at with his angry red finger was in tears, holing sheets about her body to cover herself. She looked a teenager to Brin, though on the younger side. Her hair was a pretty shade of yellow, like a honey bee’s hair. Brinnea placed a hand on her sword’s hilt, eyes fixed on the escalating situation. Sio remained calm, unperturbed to be looking up at the angry man. “Vic, please! ‘twas a small mistake. Nothin’ to get so wild about! And ye will not storm out of me house without settling yer debt again!” A vein popped out of the side of Vic’s head. “A small mistake? She could have taken my bloody cock off! I ought to knock her teeth in!” “Please, sir,” the honey-haired girl wept, “I didn’t mean to. I didn’t mean to!” Vic took a step forward, and his eyes said everything Brinnea needed to hear. In a flash, she was between the two, sword unsheathed. She held the point to his throat and flashed an icy glare at him. The man shrunk back in horror, though not too far, for Brin’s sword followed. “Pay what you owe and get the fuck out of here,” Brinnea snarled. Vic fumbled for his purse, a little too slow for Brin’s liking. She yanked it off his loose belt and tossed it behind her to rest at Jessaya’s feet. Then she kicked the red-faced man to the door. “That was…excessive,” Sio said quietly. “Vic’s a lout, but he’s never hit one o’ my girls before.” Brinnea sheathed her blade, still eyeing the door. “People change,” she said icily. Jessaya tackled Brinnea with a hug. The death knight held her arms outwards in surprise. “Thank you, miss!” the girl said tearfully, “Thank you so much!” Sio pocketed Vic’s purse and tugged at Jessaya’s sheets. “A’right, girl, enough. Go clean yerself up and eat some supper.” The girl obeyed, glancing back at Brin with thanks in her eyes. Brinnea returned to her chair as Sio muttered to herself about death knights and bringing down the mood and losing clients. Brin’s thoughts were on the man she had threatened. He must have been a member of a mercenary band, and a tight-knit one to have tattoos on even a lowly member like him. Killing him might have brought worse wrath upon her, but if she had hidden the corpse, the rest of the band may have never found out. Now, though, he was likely to run straight to his friends and stir them up with his drunken, red-faced fury. As the night went on, Brinnea became more convinced she would have to leave town before dawn.
  5. RiktheRed21

    Lanette

    Full Name: Lanette Wetwhistle Date of Birth: September 4 Age: 32 Race: Goblin, Formerly Steamwheedle Cartel Gender: Female Hair: Cyan, shoulder-length Eyes: Blue Height: 3 feet Weight: 40 lbs Place of residence: Dragonsroost Port Place of Birth: Booty Bay Known Relatives: Not among the living Religion/Philosophy: Money Occupation: Goblin Engineer, Pet Tamer, Sailor, Gun for Hire Group/Guild affiliation: Borrowed Time Enemies: Bloodsail Buccaneers, Southsea Freebooters, any and all slavers, some warlocks, the naga, the Venture Company Likes: The smell of the sea, animals, sleeping under the stars, tinkering, the tropics, photography Dislikes: Snow, ice, the color white, Northrend, snow cones, and ice cream Favorite Foods: Pineapple Favorite Drinks: Piña colada Favorite Colors: Teal, Brown Weapons of Choice: Rifles, Grenades, Rockets, Traps, Tasers, Knives Physical Features: Angular facial features. Sharp eyes. Messy hair tied up with skull-pattern pendants. Special Abilities: Wild imagination. Can put together workable contraptions quickly and with limited supplies. Can tame just about any beast, given enough time and resources. Trained in wilderness survival, specialized in tropical jungles. A spirited climber and excellent swimmer. Positive Personality Traits: Open-minded and logical. Easygoing. Can keep a secret. Negative Personality Traits: Aloof, disinterested. A natural liar. Lacking in social graces. Misc. Quirks: Loves to spend as much time around the water as possible. Seems to hate everything cold and related to ice or snow. Paints all her gear bright and tropical colors. Photographs everything. Music: Escape -- Rupert Holmes History: She spent her early life growing up in Booty Bay with her parents, both fishers. Pirates raided the bay and killed her parents. She was taken as a slave and sold to a plantation, where a warlock stripped away her ability to think for herself. A hero saved her and the other slaves from the plantation and gave them kaja kola, which restored their minds slowly. She still relies on the kola to keep her mind from being addled, since she was brainwashed from such a young age. Reliance on kaja kola has made her brain move twice normal speed. She’s able to hold a conversation while also rapidly coming up with complex plans in her mind. This makes her a natural improvisor, and made her a natural engineer. After the hero dropped her off back at her home, she felt lost and out of place. She got a sailing job with the cartel, but disliked all the rules and structure. Eventually, she left the cartel in pursuit of her own self-image. Though she is still looking, she has managed to gather numerous skills she enjoys practicing, including pet taming, hunting, survival skills, photography, and exploring. Nowadays, she drifts between jobs. In fact, she heard of a really nice job, just the other day. Something about a mercenary company in the Twilight Highlands…
  6. RiktheRed21

    A Wolf, A Horse, and A Rider

    She woke from an unrestful sleep beneath a tree that seemed doubled-over in pain. Dry leaves fell about her and rain pattered on the moist ground. Brinnea wiped damp hair from her eyes and stood to greet the new day. Dreary and grey, the day seemed unwilling to return her hello. She gathered her meager supplies – a sword belt and a satchel with some money and first-aid kit – and hopped on the back of her last loyal companion. The deathcharger stood still, its eyes vacant as a corpse’s. When she gave it a kick, it moved, but there was little evidence otherwise that it was even conscious. On they went, kicking up moisture from the summer rain and crossing long, desolate miles of the Wetlands in silence. Brinnea slowed as they approached a small farm. She gazed at it longingly, catching sight of a family at work. The eldest man appeared to be complaining bitterly about the rain while the youngest children frolicked about without a care in the world. By instinct, she began riding towards it. Once she realized what she was doing, she quickly yanked the reins and spurred the charger into a gallop northward. The farm shrank into a dot behind her, though she never looked back to see it. The rainclouds gave way to thunderstorms. Winds shrieked across the wavy hills and sent droplets scraping across Brinnea’s bare flesh. Drops tinned against her armor. She wondered if the soldiers back at Greenwarden’s Grove would be able to keep the rain out of their tents tonight. She wondered if somewhere on the passage into the mountains far to the south Charlotte and August were dressed in their warm clothes for the journey to Ironforge. Would they like it there? Would they make new friends? Would they ever forget about her? The wind picked up further until even the undead charger balked at carrying on at full gallop. The death knight eased her mount towards the dense hills where they might find some cover from the storm. Lighting crashed somewhere nearby. She couldn’t see where it had struck home. She imagined a fire trying to survive in a storm like this, but her imagination failed her. The horse and rider strode through clefts populated with fleeing deer and rodents, squirrels and birds of every sort. Plantlife was abundant here, ranging from flowers to fungi, small shrubs to huge trees spreading wide canopies. Thinking of the tree she had slept at the night prior, Brinnea decided to continue searching for better cover. A wolf’s lonely howl took to the air. Brinnea waited, but heard no response. She counted it a blessing without thinking. A pack of wolves is dangerous, after all. But then she got to thinking of the lone beast out all alone. What had happened to its pack? Was it cast out, as she had been? Perhaps it had hoped too greatly, and tried too hard to further itself and its pups. The alpha could only tolerate so much before he had to act. At last, Brinnea found a cave gashed into the rocks and hurried toward it. She dismounted, for the ceiling was too low to fit on horseback. The deathcharger squeezed into the cave and stood resolute at the back, facing a wall. Charlotte had named the horse Spaklehoof for its bright hooves, but the beast was far from intelligent. Brinnea guessed it was evening. The sky seemed a little less bright than it had when she first entered the hilly area. She knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight. Last night’s dreams had confirmed it. Brinnea had never been able to sleep well as a death knight, but after a while living in Greenwarden’s Grove, she found she was able to have more restful nights than she used to. Despite being an overgrown, swampy backwater, the Grove had started to feel a little like a home. The wolf’s howl shook her back to her senses. Again, it sounded lonely and sad, and again it garnered no reply save for the roaring wind, the screeching rain, and the thundering storm. Brinnea had removed her armor and began polishing it, but every time she started to lose herself in the monotony of work, the howl returned. Somehow, it seemed to be growing both louder and weaker. She tossed her pauldron into a pile of armor and yanked her sword belt about her waist. After tying her cloak and lifting her hood, she stalked out into the storm. Brinnea was by no means an expert tracker, but she figured in this case it would be easy to find what she was looking for. The wolf howled every few minutes, so she used it as a guide. It became more difficult every time the thunder and wind deafened her, and for many hours, she felt as though she were wandering in circles about the hills. Then she spotted it – the wolf huddled under a tree with its leg caught in a trap. A kill was decomposing nearby, swamped by rain and eaten through by all manner of bugs. Odd that the wolf would remain trapped for so long without the hunter whose trap was laid coming to check on it. Brinnea thought as much, until she found whom she presumed to be the hunter in question lodged under a fallen tree stump. The char pattern was rippled like tree roots, but more jagged like hands with too many fingers and fingers with too many joints. Brinnea searched the man for weapons and found a knife, a bow, a length of rope, and arrows. She left the bow, but added the knife to her belt beside her own, and pulled the rope over her shoulder. The wolf had awoken while Brinnea was investigating. It sniffed and growled at her weakly, but made no attempts to move. Brin approached carefully, and eased herself to a crouch beside the beast. She reached out to touch the trap, but the wolf barked at her warningly. She pulled her hand back. Taking the rope from her shoulder, she measured a section of it and cut it with the hunter’s knife. Then she deftly clamped the wolf’s snout shut and forced the rope around and tied it tight. The wolf tried to paw it off, but otherwise acted with meek acceptance. Brin grabbed hold of the clamped trap, the leather of her handwraps thick enough to keep her hands from getting shredded by the sharp metal. She pulled with all her strength. The metal creaked, and the wolf whimpered. Blood spurted from the reopened wound, but the wolf pulled itself loose. Brin yanked her hands free and left the trap clamped and bloody where it was. The wolf tried to nuzzle the wounded hind leg, but was impeded by the ropes. Brinnea retrieved bandages from her medical kit and carefully grappled the wolf, then applied the cloth to the bleeding leg. After, she drew her knife and carefully cut the rope muzzle free, then pulled back. The wolf growled at her bitterly before madly licking its newly bandaged leg. “There, mangy mutt,” Brinnea said, “I saved you. Now scamper off and don’t do anything stupid.” The wolf watched her and continued to nibble at the bandages. In time, they would rot away, but that would be long after the wound healed. “You should be more worried about predators than a little cloth, idiot.” The wolf ignored her advice. Shaking her head, she turned to head back to her cave. It wasn’t until she was halfway back that she realized the beast was following her.
  7. RiktheRed21

    Kimba Goldfield

    Full Name: Kimba Goldfield Date of Birth: July 21 Age: 42 Race: Shu'halo, Tauren of Thunder Bluff Gender: Male Hair: Black mane and fur Eyes: Gold Height: 8 feet, 2.4384 meters Weight: Approximately 1000 pounds, ~453.592 kg Place of residence: Ashtotem Village Place of Birth: The Barrens, in a small canyon between two mountains where the sound echoes like a boom of thunder Known Relatives: Qarn (Older Brother, deceased), Rumba (younger brother), Cassowary (younger brother), Nagoda (nephew), Fasha (sister-in-law via Qarn), Magooma (mother-in-law via Fasha), Mayha, Laika, and Rhoma (his dead mates, all tauren women), Draquesha (promised mate) Religion/Philosophy: An'she, the sun god Occupation: Thunder Bluff Brave, Escort to Barrens Refugees Group/Guild affiliation: Guest of Ashtotem Village Enemies: The Alliance, Scourge Affiliates, Brinnea Velmon, the Barrens centaur tribes Likes: Wide-open spaces, flat landscapes, large gatherings, parties, playing the drums, racing, javelin toss, fishing, swimming Favorite Foods: Kodo roast, grilled salmon Favorite Drinks: Mulgore firewater Favorite Colors: Leathery Brown and Shiny Gold Weapons of Choice: Battleaxe, Hunting Spear, War Club, Throwing Axes, Javelins Dislikes: Confinement, tight spaces, restrictions to movement, diet, or activities, the smell of death, quiet places, abstract studies such as complex math, magic, social sciences, politics, etc. Physical Features: Average tauren height, black fur all across his body, black horns tipped with gold ornaments, facial hair tied in three braids, has two gold teeth, and rippling muscle across his body criss-crossed with scars Special Abilities: Peak physical fitness, hugely powerful legs and arms, expert tracker, and can run for several days without tiring. Positive Personality Traits: Boisterous and optimistic. He tends to go with the flow without concerning or stressing about the future or the past. Can liven up any situation with a fun story, song, or joke. Bold and brave, never one to shy from a fight. Highly objective; will confront someone if he senses the need. Perceptive, and takes note of people's mannerisms or interests. Reveres the elderly for their experience, and prizes the youth for their energy and potential. Has strong control over his rage, so he can use it as a tool without it getting the better of him. Negative Personality Traits: Insensitive and easily bored. Impatient and likely to take risks even when unnecessary or clearly dangerous. Finds it difficult to grasp a bigger picture or pat attention to abstract ideas or feelings. Often if there is an emotional matter at stake, he'll ignore it or find a way to move away from it. Defiant and resistant to criticism. Misc. Quirks: Shows a flagrant disregard for nature whenever possible. He'll kill critters for sport, pelts, and food if they cross his path, chop his way through foliage that annoys him, and grows vindictive at his surroundings if they restrict or confine him. Sharpens and polishes his weapons every morning, first thing. Always carries a skin of firewater with him, and gets in an intolerable mood when he's run out. Music: "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC History: Ever since his birth, Kimba has had an uncommonly strong set of lungs. He cried the most out of his three siblings, and was the most likely to cause trouble for the family. His father often told him that he had a responsibility to his people and to his family to uphold their honor and legacy, just as his older brother Qarn understood intuitively. Kimba eventually understood what his father meant after both his parents were butchered in Camp Taurajo. Qarn was devastated and went on a rampage against the humans of Northwatch that nearly got him killed. Kimba pulled Qarn, who was usually the responsible one, from the fires of hate. Kimba understood loss and felt sad too, but he understood how to control anger until the right moment, and could always find a way to enjoy the now rather than get hung up on the past or future. That way, he could always look out for his family's honor and legacy, even if he couldn't make as significant strides to a glorious future like his older brother could. Qarn was grateful to his brother from then on, and trusted him with his own family. When Qarn perished in a hunt for fugitive undead Parigan Blackmane and Brinnea Velmon, Kimba took upon himself all his brother's former responsibilities that he could. Though he could not be a visionary and a diplomat, Kimba could still be a warrior and a guardian for the family. He took in Qarn's wife and son, Fasha and Nagoda. Nagoda resented Kimba for trying to step in where his father had left, but Kimba never understood how to make the child accept the new reality. The boy wanted to be just like his father, but didn't know how to. Kimba tried to teach him as best as he could, but found the boy more hateful with every passing day. To fulfill one of his brother's final tasks, Kimba led some refugees displaced by the war in the Barrens south to Thousand Needles, to the neutral territory of the Ashtotem Tribe. They were accepted as residents, though the people had to cut their ties with the Horde. Kimba and his brothers continued to serve the Horde and uphold their duties to the refugees. Though they did not join Ashtotem, they were allowed to stay as guests. Kimba shortly afterwards led his nephew on a pilgrimage to one of Qarn's favorite holy sites, Wyrmrest Temple, to offer service to the dragons and continue their ties to the Light as Qarn would have wanted. Kimba was given a task to slay a void beast lurking in the center of Sholozar Basin, and there he found Draquesha, a Darkspear troll living alone with a multitude of animal companions. The two grew fond of one another and engaged in several sexual encounters, until the tauren asked the troll to be his mate. Drunk on firewater and lust, she accepted.
  8. RiktheRed21

    Young Soldier, Old Wounds

    Sometimes he stood at their graves. The ones he'd lost. The stones sat there looking up at him questioningly. They still waited to hear his diagnosis. Every one of them stood stock still like a soldier should and watched him with the utmost attention. It was a tremendous weight to see them all look at him. He stood at each one he could remember, and he had a long memory. When he had had time away from the war, Sanjay found his way to the graveyards eventually. Now the war was over, and there was nothing to do but stand. He counted them back in his head, but couldn't. He wished he'd never learned to count past ten. Or one hundred. Or a thousand. The graveyard had to be extended to fit them all. New earth was put into place for them to be buried. How ironic was that? Sanjay thought about the earth beind ripped apart a hundred miles away to be toted here, surrounded by walls and sad, grey stone. All that, only to be dug up again and filled with bodies. Filled with dreams and thoughts. Hopes and loves. Husbands, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, and everything else. He thought about the ones without names. They sat and watched, too, but silently. The others shouted in his mind. A name to a memory. The nameless were the ones that kept him awake at night. They crept through the crevices of his mind like errant shadows without a source of light. They wandered aimlessly, silently. His overactive mind put faces to their lack of names. He invented names only to discard them, calling himself stupid fir disrespecting them. But he had a long memory. The discarded were not filled by new memories so quickly. And so they built up, one atop the others and so on until the nameless names outnumbered the true names. He tried to set the weight of their gaze down in his mind. He needed something physical, like a talisman, to embody the weight. So one time he spent a week weaving little leather dolls. He had meant them to look like soldiers, strong and proud. Once he'd placed them on the graves they looked more like children -- huddled, alone, and frightened. Sanjay thought about his legs sometimes. He'd told himself it didn't matter anymore, that old wound. It was the new wounds that really mattered. With new wounds, you couldn't be certain if you'd recover. If the patient would ever walk or talk or live again. Sanjay's legs had recovered. His back had mended and his spirit reformed from the ashes of the cannon that buried him alive. But he still thought about them. He had even named them. His mother had told him that names made the monsters less scary. Torque was what he'd named one. He liked giving it a powerful name, something that carried weight. It was his right leg, the one he unconsciously considered his dominant leg. When it had stopped working years ago, it sat limply in a chair and melted away like an old flower blown to dust by a brisk wind. Only, he didn't notice the wind had taken it from him until one day he'd woken up alone. There had been girlfriends -- dozens of them. They came and went, but his memory was long. He recalled them straddling his unmoving waist lovingly, swaying as if to a song. At least that part of him had still worked. The other leg he'd called Panic. It was the leg that reacted when he needed to react fast. Where Torque carried the weight, Panic pushed him past it. Sanjay remembered pushing past the time when he was alone. He had decided he wouldn't live on without legs. He had decided he wanted to sway to the music he couldn't hear. Dancing was something he'd been good at. He'd wanted to be a dancer once before his father had given him his duty. Sanjay had looked for a cure everywhere cures could be found. A broken spinal cord was tricky business, something no amount of potions, Light, magic water, experimental surgery, or happy thoughts could cure him of. His vast knowledge of medicine and fixing broken things didn't help. He had been convinced it only made matters worse because there was no more room for hope. But in the end, he'd found his cure. He'd been made whole. And so he was graced with the chance to make others whole too. But making some whole meant burying those whose pieces wouldn't fit back together. That meant names, and the nameless. It meant moving earth to fill it with bodies and wishes. It meant standing and weaving talismans and finding ways to lift the weight. It meant standing before a grave on the outskirts of Lakeshire on a dry evening as the sun fell dead in the west, biting back tears as they escaped at last from their long sentence behind the bars of shame. They were the only names that could make him cry anymore. It was bizarre what time could do to a man. Time could heal his wounds and change him into something new. But it could also make grief weigh heavier, and guilt burn deeper. The names stared up at him as a talisman of past failure, a weight that couldn't be set down. He stared down at the blurred carvings and the piles upon piles of woven children and felt time's effect on him. "Hi Dad," he told the children, "Hi Mom. Alex. John. Brom. Hi Saphir. It's me again." He wiped away his bitter tears to do his duty, as Father had always wanted. "I didn't think I'd ever come back, you know. I don't just mean to Redridge. I thought Pandaria was where I was meant to be. I thought home meant making something for myself and never looking back. I didn't think I'd have a reason. As it turns out, I was right. There was nothing to come back to." He thought it was true. They were all dead. Every last one of them. Broken pieces that couldn't be mended. No sense in dwelling on old wounds. Yet he had come back. "I'm still patching up soldiers like you would have wanted, Dad. Guess you got your wish, somewhat. I don't win any glory for the family name like you wanted, but at least I'm keeping the army you helped build keep its feet." Sanjay looked at the dolls seated carefully about the graves and sighed in frustration. "This is stupid. I'm stupid for ever thinking this would help." He bent over to pick a doll up and tossed it off into the distance. He lost sight of it behind a dry, dead bush. "You're all dead. There's no point to it. My words won't comfort you, and your lack of presence won't make me feel any better. I screwed up. I left and didn't look back until you were all gone. Ducking around the truth is pointlessly stupid. You are dead, but there are others that I can keep from the grave with the gifts you gave me. That's legacy. That's what will make me feel better. Don't any of you ever catch me getting weepy around you again, got it?" None of them answered. Sanjay told himself he was still being stupid, yet there he stood. Sanjay. Sander Redjay. The firstborn son of Alexander II Redjay, a hero of the Alliance. Taken by war before his time, and dying far too old. Beside him was his family, the ones who had stood by him. And standing above him, still breathing and crying was the one who had left. "I'm not using your name anymore, Dad. It belongs exactly where you put it. My name is Sanjay now. I never got to tell you before you died. It means Conqueror." He about-faced and walked off, his stride long and stiff. Torque and Panic carried him back down the road to town. The old house belonged to him now, so he intended to give it away to someone who needed it. That, or burn it down and light a cigar in the flames. He hadn't decided.
  9. RiktheRed21

    Young Soldier, Old Wounds

    "So let me get this straight, you jumped off the top of the Temple of the Moon, relying on a glider with a torn wing to slow your fall?" "I didn't know it was torn until after I jumped, but yes that is how it went." The young man with the ponytail winced as Sanjay investigated the damage resulting from the younger man's escapade. "You are lucky you survived. The Kal'dorei take matters of religion very seriously. That Temple is as tall as any castle I've seen." "It wasn't that bad, really." Sanjay eyed the broken leg skeptically. His educated mind told him to be open-minded, but this case seemed rather open-and-shut. "Your femur is cracked in five places," the doctor replied, "Your tibia has a solid dent in it, too. Plus your nose from where you most likely faceplanted, that's seven fractures." "Seven is a lucky number." The boy gave Sanjay a weak smile. Sweat dripped down his forehead in rivers. "Not today, it isn't. I have a question, though, unless you don't want to receive treatment." Moors sighed and lie back on the cot, staring up at the bottom of the top bunk. "Ask away. I'm an open book." "Why did you contact me, and not send a message out to the whole guild?" From what Sanjay had been told about the Empire's guildstones, the default function was to address the entire guild. It took some fiddling in a way Sanjay hadn't bothered to uncover to address only one particular stone. Usually he just kept his on mute. Moors shrugged. "I've never sent a message to one person before." "That doesn't answer the question." "It's late, people are sleeping." "You don't think they mute their stones before bed?" "People tend to forget things. Maybe not as much as I do, but still." The doctor exhaled through his nose and scratched his beard. Though he'd committed to growing it out in Pandaria, the hair was starting to get itchy. He briefly considered shaving it, or at least trimming it down some. "Right. I'm sure that's what went through your head while you writhed about at the steps of the Temple of Elune with bones broken in seven places." Moors' leg twitched in its fresh splint. Sanjay was more interested in that hair of his. It was yellow like straw, and held back in a ponytail. A slash of white lie along his scalp from above the right eye, as well. That was uncommon in one this boy's age. It reminded Sanjay of some old patients. The kid probably rubbed some warlock the wrong way at some point. "I try to be considerate." Or you just wanted to avoid the embarrassment of telling the whole guild you jumped off a building. Sanjay had been aware of some event going on tonight. Given the wine stains on the boy's cotton shirt, he figured Moors had attended. He tried not to jump to conclusions about the alcohol's affect on the boy's actions leading up to his injury. "I'll lend you potions for regrowing the bones and to suppress the pain. It'll be a week or two before you're back on your feet. I'll check in daily until you can get back to work." Luckily for you, I'm on vacation for that long. I could use a break from my break. "Thank you, Doctor. That's really nice of you." He seemed sincere. Sanjay never knew for certain. "Don't jump off anymore buildings, and I'll consider it even. And get some sleep." He stood up to leave. The elves were giving him odd looks. "Hey Doc?" "What is it?" "You won't tell anyone about this, will you?" So it is as I thought. "Not a word, kid. Rest easy." "I got three dates coming up. This won't keep me from any of that, will it?" Sanjay scoffed. That's right, it was about that time of year. Pretty boys like him would be breaking hearts left and right for the next few weeks. "I hope you weren't planning to take any of them for long walks. Or on that deathtrap of a glider. In fact, stay away from anything goblin-made for a while." "Alright. You're the Doc, Doc." He lie back and shut his shiny, baby blue eyes. Sanjay took a breath. After so long spent patching men and women condemned to die of fel poisoning or self-inflicted wounds of despair, this felt utterly mundane. It was a strange thought that such normalcy would feel unwelcome. He strode out of the medical ward of the Temple across soft grass that tickled his feet through his sandals. The elves out here watched him too. Sanjay had grown used to it. When the face of your people is a boy who looks eerily similar to Moors Hawthorne, seeing someone with skin and demeanor as dark as Sanjay's would be rather curious. Maybe I should shave the damn beard.
  10. RiktheRed21

    Gall

    "Gall's name says it all. He's got guts and doesn't shirk from a fight. I didn't know him long, but I'd probably have lost my head if I hadn't met him. I'd watch his back anytime," -Brinnea.
  11. RiktheRed21

    Rest

    Brinnea Velmon carried a sack over the shoulder with a stooped back, slowed by the weight, but sped by her resolve. She stomped eastward and north from Greenwarden's Grove, into the wild green lands in which only winding, grasping creepers grew and watched. She found a spot beneath an old, wide tree that stooped as she did. There she set down her burden, far enough away from the Grove to be out of sight, but close enough to reach within a twenty minute walk. Inside the sack lie stones she had spent the last week carving at her desk. The runes she had found in a tome she kept in her Thelsamar home. It was a memento of sorts, from her time under the boot of the Scourge. One she had stolen from a pile meant for burning by the Argent Crusade. She set the stones in a precise way, arranging them to make a shrine of sorts up against the stooped tree. Then she drew her blade, Paragon. The runes etched in the side glowed a familiar icy blue as she plunged it into the earth before her shrine of stones. The freshly etched runes glowed a dark purple hue, and wisps of shadow riddled their way up into the old tree like the creepers upon the ground. Bark withered in seconds and high above, leaves fell blackened and dying from the lowest branches. Whispers echoed all around, though it was impossible to discern their meaning. An unkeen ear might mistake it for an odd breeze. Brinnea knelt, her head lowered to the earth. She uttered an incantation that darkened the ground at her feet. Even the heat of the sun felt dimmer as she spoke. When she finished, she uttered one phrase in the low speech that meant, "Show to me the spirit of the dead: the spirit of Parigan Blackmane!" The whispers ceased, as did the dark creepers up the tree and the darkening shadow in the dirt and grass. A single voice pierced the silence -- strong, resolute, yet mocking it was. "Hello Brin. Long time, no see." Brinnea lifted her head to look up at the shade that now hovered over her wicked shrine. "Pari," she breathed softly, "I'm sorry to have to call you like this. You deserve a long, undisturbed rest." "Ha! No rest for me. I've been wandering for some time, here in Azeroth. Without a body, the spirit is free to see whatever sights it wishes, without a care in the world." He seemed utterly content and without a care in this form. He looked as she remembered him before his first death: a young man with shoulder-length black hair left uncombed and wild, brown eyes regarding the world with a fascinated bewilderment, and a body built strong, sturdy, and casually balanced. "That sounds right for you," she replied with a sad smile. "I only wish I could go with you." "In a way, you have. I see you everywhere I go. Your soul still tugs at mine. Sometimes I come back to watch you or Charlotte. She's seen me a time or two, I'd wager. A keen sense, our girl has." "Yes, she's going to make a fine mage someday. She still wants to be a hero, like you. Or me, I suppose." "A hero like us? That won't do. Teach her how to stay alive for longer than twenty years first." Brinnea laughed, tears forming frozen in her eyes. "I should be the one dead, and you the one alive. You could have taught her so much more than I ever can." "And I say," he said as his phantom hand urged her head upwards, "The only true knowledge worth having is earned yourself. She'll learn one way or another, from hundreds and thousands of teachers, living and dead. But you can give her something that I could not. You can be a mother to her. There is no replacing one's own mother." "And the same can't be said of fathers?" "A father puts life in a mother's body, but the mother carries that life with her. They are truly one for he longest time. It's a bond that transcends biology or psychology. I've seen it, you know. The bond between you two. With my own eyes, I can see it like a tether between you two. I truly believe you will never be apart. Not for long." She felt for his hand fondly, though it slipped through her fingers like smoke. "Oh you foolish, clever man! What did I ever do to deserve a you? To deserve any of what I still have?" "You were yourself. Always you were, and forever you will be. Nothing will ever really change you." "I'm not so sure..." "What is it that pains you now? There's always something, but I can feel agony within you. Something in your mind." She sighed, remembering that which urged her to contact him in the first place. "A nightmare. But this one felt real. An illusion, perhaps, but you know I've never been good at sorting reality from fantasy." "What sort of illusion?" "I saw..." she spoke reluctantly. She had been dreading that she would relive the memory again. "I saw the future. Charlotte and the boy, August, grown into a woman and man. I led them astray. They wanted to be heroes...like me." "So they died and became Death Knights," he concluded. "Yes." "Now that's bullshit." "Pari..." "No, you'd never let them do that to themselves in a million years.You wouldn't even let me get a dog when we couldn't afford it. You're stubborn as an old mule when you want to be." "It felt too real to disregard so easily." "That's the thing about illusions." "Don't you think I know that! But what if it becomes real? What if they do try to be just like me?" "Charlotte is what, six years old now? I think you've got enough time to teach her that isn't such a good idea." "It just feels as though I am leading her astray. People I meet believe a Death Knight could never be a true mother to living children. Even if they don't say it, I can see it on their faces." "When has that ever stopped you before? You spent years trying to get adoptions rights in Stormwind, and now you have two children to take care of. Stop worrying over whether it is right and just do the best with what you have." "You're right," she said, still unsure, "But that doesn't make the feelings go away." "Well, I can't control your feelings, though I believe there are drugs that could help with that." "Parigan!" He laughed -- a wispy sound that was a shadow of the irksome chuckle it had once been. "You'll find a way to get through this. You've wanted to be a mother for so long, I know you won't screw it up now." "I hope you're right, Pari. I want to believe it." "Then do that. I'm gonna go on some more adventures. Maybe possess someone along the way. Ah, to feel young and alive again!" "That's just awful," Brinnea said with a laugh and a cry. "You don't have to forget me, Brin. But you have to accept that I'm gone now." "And if you were in my shoes?" "I'd never let you leave me, obviously." "You're such a hypocrite." "And you don't need me to protect you anymore. I may have seemed strong and handsome and dashing when I was around, but it's only because I had you to inspire me. Now you do the same for our daughter, and your boy. Show this world it doesn't get to beat you." With that, he vanished with a puff of smoke. The sun grew brighter, and the silence faded into the breeze. She stood and removed the blade from the ground. Paragon. He would have said it was a funny joke to name it that. "But that's why I did it," she said to herself, "Always carry a smile into battle. Isn't that right, Pari?" Only the wind gave any reply.
  12. RiktheRed21

    Sorel Crescentsong (A)

    "Has to be the most persistent son of an elf I ever met. Everyone I know who knows him berates him constantly, and yet he keeps on at it regardless. Making him blush has become a hobby of mine. He may have trouble adapting to Alliance life, but he's got a big heart wrapped in his thin purple skin. I wouldn't trade him for a legion of Sentinels," -Jenivyr.
  13. RiktheRed21

    Baern Ashtotem

    "He is a strong and wise chieftain. My father would have trusted him with his life, so I will trust him with my family," -Nagoda.
  14. RiktheRed21

    Naheal Malastar

    "A dutiful knight with a strong sense of responsibility. I would have liked to work with him more when I had the chance," -Brinnea.
  15. RiktheRed21

    Rylie Tattersall

    "I heard about her. What happened in Eastvale...I can't help but feel responsible. I hope her new family treats her well, and she goes on to do great things. My mother once said the most beautiful flowers bloom in adversity. I pray every day that she was right," -Brinnea.